Cobra on a plane forces emergency landing


An Egypt Air plane with 90 passengers had to make an emergency landing after a cobra reportedly bit a Jordanian man who smuggled the snake into the aircraft.

An Egypt Air official said that the 48-year-old passenger, who owns a reptile shop in Kuwait, had hidden the Egyptian cobra in a carry-on bag on Monday.

The passenger was trying to control the snake after it bit his hand and started slithering under the seats, forcing the pilot of the Cairo-Kuwait flight this week to make an emergency landing in the Egyptian resort town of Al Ghardaqa on the Red Sea, The Jordan Times reported.

The Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm reported that the man refused medical treatment, claiming his wound was only superficial. The plane resumed its flight to Kuwait after local authorities confiscated the snake.

Doctors told the passenger he should spend 24 hours in a hospital for observation, but the man refused, the Egyptian Air official said.

Egyptian cobras are commonly found across North Africa.

Legend has it that in ancient times, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra used an Egyptian cobra -- also known as an asp to commit suicide.

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